LG Optimus Pad preview: First look
Excellent 5 megapixel camera
With a pair of 3D-enabled 5 megapixel cameras and a 2 megapixel front-facing unit, the LG Optimus Pad unmatched for imaging skills among tablets. However, shooting with a tablet is hardly the most comfortable thing so we wonder how high Full HD video and 720p 3D clips will rate.
The Optimus Pad's camera interface is quite simple. You get flash settings, white balance, color effects and scenes on a convenient dial as well as resolution settings, picture quality, focus mode and exposure compensation in the extra settings menu.
There are also shortcuts for switching between the two cameras and alternating video and still camera modes.
The image quality is really impressive especially considering we're looking at a pre-release unit. The amount of resolved detail is excellent, the colors quite pleasant on most occasions. Contrast is a bit low though and there's the seldom case when the colors come out off.
Photo quality comparison
You can see for yourself in our Photo Compare Tool that the LG Optimus Pad is a lot better performer than the Motorola XOOM and lots of other 5 megapixel droids.
LG Optimus Pad is capable of recording videos up to 1080p. There aren’t too many settings available to the user: LED as video light, white balance, color effects, video quality and time-lapse interval.
The captured videos also turned out quite decent. We noticed a few dropped frames here and there but we'll refrain from judgments until we get our hands on a retail unit. We did like though what we saw there.
Here is a sample video uploaded to YouTube.
And here’s an untouched 1080p video sample taken straight from the Optimus Pad camera for you to enjoy.
3D camcorder and 3D video player
Our unit wasn't capable of taking 3D still images, and we are just not sure if this feature will be enabled in the retail units. Fortunately the 3D camcorder was intact, capable of shooting 720p 3D videos.
The viewfinder offers very few options. You also get to choose the 3D viewing mode: anaglyph, mixed, single or side-by-side. Generally, you will have the viewfinder in anaglyph mode with 3D glasses, but it's good to see you have options here.
You can also set the 3D depth (be careful with that), choose the video quality, set the white balance and turn the audio recording on or off.
And here come some samples from the LG Optimus Pad camcorder. Just have in mind that this is a pre-market unit, and the videos are not bad at all.
We uploaded the Optimus Pad 3D videos onto an Optimus 3D smartphone and they are fully compatible. We watched them in 3D without glasses trouble free.
Here's one video sample we uploaded to YouTube - don't forget to choose 720p and select the right type of 3D:
And here is an untouched 720p 3D video sample for you.
To view the samples in 3D, you have to use the integrated LG 3D video player. The interface is rather simple and you have just one option - view the video in anaglyph mode or side by side. You can use a standard pair of anaglyph glasses to watch the 3D content.
The LG Optimus Pad is the first tablet of the house and - for obvious reasons - it's not much different from other Honeycomb tablets. While some manufacturers will tempt you with exclusive pre-installed content, LG are looking to make a bigger splash with their newly-found headline feature - 3D imaging.
We guess, it's two things that define the Optimus Pad: one unique ability and one archrival. It all boils down to how these two will balance out.
The key feature is of course 3D video. Yes, it can make the difference among competitors but on the other hand shooting video with a tablet isn't much different from shooting video with the kitchen tray. Then again even shooting with a kitchen tray might catch on if you add a drop of 3D.
The way we see it, it has to be really important. And some users just don't care enough about a tablet's video capture capabilities. If that's the case - you might want to check out something a lot more manageable in terms of body weight. The super slim and lightweight Samsung Galaxy Tab is an option.
It certainly isn't an easy choice though. And the fact that you can put it in a wider 3D context with smartphones and TVs, makes it even harder. Plus, promoting the 3D technology is an end in itself for LG so the Optimus Pad will probably get good support, which is quite important in the long run.